TxDOT held two public meetings Jan. 23 and 25 in Waller and Tomball, respectively, to inform residents about the proposed project.
According to TxDOT, the project proposes adding one lane in each direction from Business 290 near Waller to Hwy. 249 in Tomball. FM 2920 between Business 290 and Cypress Rosehill Road will expand from two lanes to four lanes, and the project will widen FM 2920 between Cypress Rosehill Road and Hwy. 249 from four lanes to six lanes.
TxDOT officials said the project will improve traffic flow, mobility and safety. The cost and funding source will be determined after the roadway alignment is chosen.
“This project is years in the making,” George said.
She said every year TxDOT, along with other agencies, must determine which projects are most beneficial to the district.
TxDOT is reviewing three alignments for the right-of-way acquisition for the roadway. However, all alternatives will cause residential and commercial displacement, George said. Residents can submit public comments through Feb. 9 on which alternative the agency should pick.
A necessary improvement
George said the expansion is slated to accommodate population and traffic growth, alleviate congestion and reduce the frequency of accidents.
Between 2013 and 2016, 125 accidents occurred on FM 2920 between Hegar and Mueschke roads, according to a crash analysis from TxDOT. During that time, there were 121 accidents between Cypress Rosehill and Tomball Cemetery roads, and another 114 accidents occurred along FM 2920 between Tomball Cemetery Road and Hwy. 249.
“The addition of the concrete median will go a little further in separating the traffic,” George said.
TxDOT also plans to expand or improve the road medians and add sidewalks along the road, George said.
The potential impact
The agency will make a preliminary selection for the widening route based on public comments and whichever alternative provides a minimal impact on the homes and businesses, George said.
According to figures from TxDOT, the number of homes and businesses at risk among the three alternatives is relatively close. If the north option is selected, 13 homes and 34 businesses will be affected. If the south option is chosen, 21 homes and 25 businesses will be displaced. In the middle option, 16 homes and 24 businesses will be relocated.
“This one is interesting because it is close,” George said. “Some projects that we deal with there is a clear-cut decision of which build makes more sense. This one, it may come down to some of the public comments.”
What is next
After considering this round of comments, TxDOT will make a selection, host another public meeting and receive additional public comments.
If the selection is accepted, the agency will conduct and prepare an environmental analysis and conduct a public hearing. After reviewing and considering comments from the hearing, TxDOT will finalize the environmental analysis and make a final project decision from the results of the analysis, George said. Then, the agency will begin right-of-way acquisition and complete the final design.
“We still have so much to go before we can even let this project [for a construction bid],” George said. “This process can take anywhere from months to years. It just depends.”
Comments can be mailed or emailed by Feb. 9:
Director of Project Development
Texas Department of Transportation - Houston District
P.O. Box 1386
Houston, TX 77251-1386